Niner Noise hands out grades and breaks down each of the San Francisco 49ers’ position groups from the Niners’ 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders in Week 9.
In the final “Battle of the Bay,” the San Francisco 49ers looked like an entirely different football team as they defeated the Oakland Raiders with ease, en route to a 31-point victory.
While third-string quarterback Nick Mullens — in his first NFL game action — was the difference maker in Week 9 and deserves much of the credit for the Niners’ blowout win, San Francisco’s Thursday Night Football victory was a team affair.
However, Mullens proved to be the antidote for what has ailed the 49ers for much of the 2018 season, as the rookie quarterback oozed confidence throughout the contest. Mullens and the Niners’ offense quickly responded to Oakland’s opening field goal with a pair of touchdown scores, and the game quickly got out of hand for the visiting Raiders.
Mullens — the 49ers’ preseason star — wildly exceeded expectations on Thursday night, but he wasn’t the only Niner who came to play in Week 9. The 49ers’ defensive front protected their makeshift secondary by harassing Raiders quarterback Derek Carr throughout the contest. Eventually, Oakland head coach Jon Gruden chose to sideline his starting QB late in the game in order to avoid potential injury.
In addition to amassing seven sacks over the course of the game, the 49ers’ defensive unit held the Raiders’ running backs to 80 total rushing yards, while no Oakland receiver managed just 30 yards through the air.
The entire team earned the victory for San Francisco in the final Battle of the Bay, but Thursday was Mullens’ night in the spotlight. Mullens was correct when he said it wasn’t a preseason game, but the 49ers beat up on the Raiders as if they were a preseason opponent:
Each week, Niner Noise breaks down and grades the performance of each of the 49ers’ position groups. Let’s start with the San Francisco 49ers’ offense: